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Seed Germination – Underway

March 12, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day by Enoch Bolles

Even Old Seeds can Germinate

The first flat of seeds I planted were old seeds, some of them from waay back in 2005.  Knowing that germination rates diminish with time, I planted them just a wee bit more densely than usual.  Here is what it looked like yesterday:

The first seed tray to show green

More than half of the cells have done nothing so far.  The Arrugula sprouted first, followed by Spinach and Cabbage.  One little Asparagus came up, that was one of the 2005 seed lot, and a nice surprise.

The first seedlings to sprout for 2011

It doesn’t look like much, in the photo above, but it is WONDERFUL to see when you are the one who has mixed the potting soil, filled the seed tray, ever so carefully metered out the tiny seedlings  (Lettuce seeds are tinier that ant turds), and waited patiently for the sun to work its magic.  THEN THERE IS GREEN.

Each of these rows of 6 are different types of plants.

There is a certain amount of “guesswork” when starting cool weather seeds like these. By only planting six cells of each, I can start another “batch” later, and depending on when the correct time for transplant arrives, have a staggered set of plants and a staggered harvest.  One can only pick and eat so much Arrugula at one time (-:

More of a close-up of the little green buggers

Notice how many cells did not sprout (yet?)  Also, do you see the reaching out to the left of these little green buggers- reaching out to the sun?  The tray is rotated end-for-end regularly, to encourage upward mobility.  In the shot above you can read the markers, these had to be broken in half to fit under the transparent lid and not create an air gap.  After sunset I put the lid back on to keep them from getting chilled, since we keep our thermostat set at “Economy” mode temperatures.

I like how the windowframe creates a small cross - shadow - across the seed tray in this photo

That bent over flap is a seed package, marking the row for the only Asparagus seed to germinate thus far.  As these plants mature they will be moved into larger “pots” with more soil, and encouraged to develop large root mass.  That will help them when they finally get placed outdoors for the big in-to-out transplant.

And all the fun in not INDOORS…

I have ten one gallon milk jugs with the “Wintersown” seeds just outside the window pictured above.  Have not seen any green in any of them so far, and I am dang glad of it too.  It is about 35 F outside that window right now.  But Thursday, this Thursday, is Green Beer Day,  err, ah , I mean St. Patrick’s Day, which is a traditional time to plant…Potatoes.  I also read it is traditional to plant Peas then too, and since my order of Peas has arrived, I intend to set some of them into a raised bed, and see what happens.

Boy, oh Boy I can almost taste those fresh Little Marvels as I shell them right there  in the Pea row of the garden.  I hope that all my dear readers are putting their fingers in the dirt, indoors right now, and outdoors (maybe) even this week!  And I would like to hear your experiences in the comments below!


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